The Charming Village of Corniglia

Corniglia is a quaint little village and we think the most charming of Italy’s Cinque Terre. With narrow walkways, closely packed medieval buildings, ancient churches, colorful shops, and a few cafes and delis, this is a pleasant old world village. Though not directly on the harbor and with limited and somewhat less grand sea views than in the neighboring villages, it’s a cozy little community.  Corniglia is perched at the top of the hillside and once arriving at the train station visitors are presented with a few options for getting there:

  1. You can climb the Lardarina, 33 flights of brick stairs (roughly 380 zig-zagging steps),

  2. Follow the long winding road up to the village on foot, or

  3. Take a ride with the local bus taxi for 2€ per person, one-way.

So, unless you have an overabundant amount of energy and no luggage in tow, we recommend spending a few Euros for a bus ride.  It’s less challenging, but much quicker, especially when time and energy are limited.

Corniglia, likely named for a Roman family who once owned the land, is the more centrally located of the ‘five lands’, midway between Monterosso and Vernazza on one side and Manarola and Riomaggiore on the other.  It’s also the smallest of the villages and has no main beachfront.   There are just a few points of interest in Corniglia, and as you walk through this hillside hamlet, you’ll likely come across:

The Church of St Peter – a 14th century church constructed on the site of an 11th century place of worship.  The church, commissioned by the noble Fieschi family, has a Baroque interior and an exterior that reflects Ligurian Gothic architecture.  Its large rose window (ca. 1351) is made of Carrera marble.

Oratory of the Disciplinati of Saint Catherine – the 18th century meeting hall of the Confraternity of St Catherine, located in Largo Taragio, Corniglia’s main square.

Santa Maria Belvedere – the end point of Via Fieschi, the main road through Corniglia, where the church of Santa Maria once stood.  This lookout point offers a fabulous view of the Ligurian Sea and a great place for your picnic.

Due to the limited amount of time we had to spend in Corniglia, we don’t have any recommendations for restaurants.  However, we did come across a great little deli/grocery that provides wonderful looking foods for picnicking or for a quick snack on the go.  Their selection includes fresh fruit reasonably priced sandwiches, olives, deli meats, cheeses, pesto and pastas.  This is also where we found ice-cold bottled water.  Refreshing!

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  1. I love the high perch of so many Italian towns – the views are often more spectacular than the ones right by the sea (I’m thinking Ravello, Taormina…). We never made it to Cinque Terre, so thanks for taking us along on your trip 🙂

    • Mikestravelguide

      Hi Jenna,
      You’re most welcome, so glad you enjoyed the Cinque Terre virtual tour. We haven’t made it to the coastal towns of Ravello or Taormina, yet. Still so much to see of Italy 🙂 Heading back there asap!!

  2. Corniglia looks amazing, love to visit.

    • Mikestravelguide

      Hi Shalu, Thanks for stopping by our site. Corniglia is gorgeous (and small). We hope you get the chance to visit!

  3. Have loved seeing your posts on Cinque Terre! We loved it here and very much enjoyed Corniglia. We did find a wonderful restaurant called Il Pirun. Owner Mario speaks little English and is very warm. It’s a lovely enoteca/ristorante. Located at Via Fieschi 51 19018. Mangia!

    • Mikestravelguide

      Hi Tanya, Thanks for stopping by our site and for the info on Il Pirun. If we make it back to the Cinque Terre we’ll have to give it a try. Happy travels!

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